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9. The Evolution of Sex

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Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122) There are several explanations for the evolution of sex and its continued prevalence. One is facilitating the spread of helpful mutations while hastening the removal of harmful ones. Another is expediting resistance against pathogens. Sex does have several costs compared to asex, such as only giving half your genome to offspring, having to find mates, and the risk of predation and STDs. Overall, the benefits outweigh the costs and sex has a firm hold on the majority of the recent branches of the tree of life. 00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction 08:54 - Chapter 2. The Traditional View on Sex’s Existence 13:38 - Chapter 3. The Costs of Sex 28:02 - Chapter 4. Recombination 38:25 - Chapter 5. Pathogens and Parasites 44:54 - Chapter 6. Modern Asexuality and Conclusion Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses This course was recorded in Spring 2009.
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Global Problems of Population Growth (MCDB 150) Reproduction is not simple or easy, nor is it fair. Females often bear a larger reproductive burden of child bearing and child rearing. Reproductive strategies can be simplified into two primary strategies for males and two for females: males often either engage in sperm competition or physical competition while females strategize to get resources from males, or to find the best male genes for the offspring. Rape and violence, as reproductive strategies, occur in few species, but violence is especially prevalent among the great apes, probably because eggs are so scarce in these species. In orangutans, rape is common. For gorillas, infanticide is a common form of reproductive violence, and male chimpanzees regularly fight each other and batter females. 00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction 08:19 - Chapter 2. Facts about Sex and Reproduction 20:55 - Chapter 3. Reproductive Competition and Reproductive Strategies 38:24 - Chapter 4. Sexual Coersion, Violence and Rape 45:10 - Chapter 5. Evolution and Sex in the Great Apes Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses This course was recorded in Spring 2009.
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Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122) Genetics controls evolution. There are four major genetic systems, which are combinations of sexual/asexual and haploid/diploid. In all genetic systems, adaptive genetic change tends to start out slow, accelerate in the middle, and occur slowly at the end. Asexual haploids can change the fastest, while sexual diploids usually change the slowest. Gene frequencies in large populations only change if the population undergoes selection. 00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction 05:45 - Chapter 2. History of Genetics 10:57 - Chapter 3. Different Genetic Systems 20:45 - Chapter 4. Math of Genetics 40:42 - Chapter 5. Rates of Change in Different Genetic Types Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses This course was recorded in Spring 2009.
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Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122) Mutations are the origin of genetic diversity. Mutations introduce new traits, while selection eliminates most of the reproductively unsuccessful traits. Sexual recombination of alleles can also account for much of the genetic diversity in sexual species. In some instances, population size can affect diversity and rates of evolution and fixation, but in other cases population size does not matter. 00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction 05:32 - Chapter 2. Mutation rates 13:57 - Chapter 3. Recombination 20:43 - Chapter 4. Genetic Variation in Humans 26:52 - Chapter 5. The Maintenance of Genetic Variation 47:03 - Chapter 6. Conclusion Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses This course was recorded in Spring 2009.
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NYU Stern | The Evolution Institute Darwin's Business: New Evolutionary Thinking About Cooperation, Groups, Firms, and Societies "The Cultural Equivalent of Sex: How Exchange Accelerates Cultural Evolution" Matt Ridley April 19, 2013
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It depends on your age, says Michael Perelman. Question: How much sex is right? Michael Perelman: I think it varies a little bit with age. We have these slides sometimes we will show in medical educational audiences about when you are very young, it is three times weekly, and by the time you are much older it is tri-weakly, with W-E-A-K-L-Y, so adjusting to a diminishing desire and frequency so that couples over 60 might be having sex, you know, every other week, even once a month. The concept of average and normal is so statistically driven that it becomes meaningless because back to the sexual tipping point, what else is going on in people's lives? So people can be having great sex at high frequency if they are both attracted and healthy to each other and have limited other responsibilities. The more you pile on other responsibilities and diminished health and capacity, the less frequently people are going to have sex, and that doesn't mean that that''s a problem. So I think frequency is overrated as a way of evaluating the quality of a couple's or individual's sex life.   Question: How much sex is right? Michael Perelman: I think it varies a little bit with age. We have these slides sometimes we will show in medical educational audiences about when you are very young, it is three times weekly, and by the time you are much older it is tri-weakly, with W-E-A-K-L-Y, so adjusting to a diminishing desire and frequency so that couples over 60 might be having sex, you know, every other week, even once a month. The concept of average and normal is so statistically driven that it becomes meaningless because back to the sexual tipping point, what else is going on in people's lives? So people can be having great sex at high frequency if they are both attracted and healthy to each other and have limited other responsibilities. The more you pile on other responsibilities and diminished health and capacity, the less frequently people are going to have sex, and that doesn't mean that that''s a problem. So I think frequency is overrated as a way of evaluating the quality of a couple's or individual's sex life.
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Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior (EEB 122) Sex allocation is an organism's decision on how much of its reproductive investment should be distributed to male and female functions and/or offspring. Under most conditions, the optimal ratio is 50:50, but that can change under certain circumstances. Sex allocation determines what sexes sequential hermaphrodites should be at each part of their life as well as how simultaneous hermaphrodites should behave. Some species have more control over the sexes of their offspring than others, and adjust the sex ratios of their offspring depending on the environment and conditions. 00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction 02:16 - Chapter 2. Shaw-Mohler and Male-Female Fitness Equivalency 10:00 - Chapter 3. Sex Ratios 18:39 - Chapter 4. Sequential Hermaphrodites 32:44 - Chapter 5. Sex Assignment in Offspring 43:48 - Chapter 6. Summary and Conclusion Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses This course was recorded in Spring 2009.